Europe needs ambitious charging plans for 130 million EVs by 2035 – report

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FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a cable to charge up a Renault Kangoo ZE electric utility vehicle at a Renault automobile dealership in Cagnes-Sur-Mer

By Nick Carey

LONDON – Governments and utilities need ambitious plans to cut red tape to install vehicle chargers if Europe is to be ready for 130 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035, a new report from EY and Eurelectric said on Tuesday.

According to “Power sector accelerating e-mobility,” by the professional services group and Europe’s utilities trade body, Europe will need 65 million EV chargers – 9 million public and 56 million residential – to handle the huge growth anticipated in EVs from the 3.3 million on Europe’s roads today.

One in 11 new cars sold in the European Union in 2021 was fully electric, a jump of 63% versus 2020.

Europe currently has 374,000 public chargers, two thirds of which are concentrated in just five countries – the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom – while some European countries do not have a single charger per 100 km (62 miles) of road, and this “polarisation between economies risks destabilising” electrification.

To keep up with demand, Europe needs half a million public chargers annually through to 2030 and one million a year after that, EY global energy and resources leader Serge Colle told Reuters.

But building out public charging infrastructure today “faces massive delays,” because of planning and permitting issues, said Eurelectric secretary general Kristian Ruby.

“We’re sending a wake-up call to politicians at all levels that ambition requires permission,” Ruby said. “If we want to pursue this (charging infrastructure) ambition then we need permission to run.”

Rising EV sales will push up European electricity demand 11% annually, the report says.

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To mitigate the risk to local grids, the report recommends supporting smart charging solutions – such as offering tariffs to EV owners to charge during off-peak overnight houses – which could lower spikes in peak power demand by 21%.

(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Mark Potter)

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